DeShields, 28, joined the Rangers organization in February on a minor league contract. So far this season, he’s beaten .412 / .500 / .706 with two homers and one steal in nine games for the Texas Triple-A branch in Round Rock. For his career, he appeared in 576 Big League games while hitting .246 / .326 / .340 (76 OPS +) and racking up 4.9 wins over substitution. At the risk of stating the obvious, DeShields contributes most of his value by stealing bases (109 of 140 attempts) and playing a good outfield.
DeShields spent last season with Cleveland after being included in Corey Kluber’s trade. Coincidentally, he would now become a teammate with Kluber if a deal with the Yankees was made and he was raised at the Big League club.
The Yankees’ interest in DeShields stems from an exhausted depth chart. Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks and reserve Ryan LaMarre are all on the injured list. Add to that Mike Tauchman’s trade earlier this season, and the Yankees’ main substitutes now are Tyler Wade and Miguel Andújar, both traditionally infielders.
It’s unclear what the Yankees would have to give up to acquire DeShields, but it’s unlikely to be much. Teams in the Rangers position – non-contenders with a hidden Triple-A veteran – tend to be open to trading as a way to get the player done well. Plus, the Rangers have enough depth of field to warrant a deal. Texas enjoyed a breakout performance from Adolis García, and it has Joey Gallo, Willie Calhoun, David Dahl and Khris Davis ahead of DeShields on its depth chart. The Rangers also have prospects like Leody Taveras and Eli White if they need to call in reinforcements due to an injury, trade or underperformance.
The Yankees came in on Friday 25-19, 1-1 / 2 games behind the Boston Red Sox for first place in the Eastern American League.